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I think euthanasia is the right answer for Gus and that last vet you took him to would not be my vet ever again.

I'm lacking a large animal vet right now that will make emergency farm calls. There is a vet practice nearby that I refuse to use because for years a friend had a mare with severe navicular that the vet refused to put down. They had not only followed all this vet's advice but also had taken the mare to Purdue University (this was actually the first step) trying to find something to ease her pain. Nothing helped and yet that vet still refused to end the mare's suffering. I have no use for a vet like that.
 

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@egrogan, in my time I have known a number of cases like yours. In each case, the dog was, despite long and experienced effort and expense, eventually put down. Always, long after it was time.

The modern passion for rescuing everything, "forever homes", "every animal deserves a (whatever)", makes people feel so awful about euthanizing on an animal which is irredeemably crazy, suffering horribly, or a constant danger to humans and/or other animals. And yet there are times when it is absolutely the right thing to do. You are not giving up, you are making the right albeit hard choice.

And that vet is a total jerk.
 

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Sorry you're having to deal with this. We once had a dog that just wasn't right in the head. Reminds me a bit of Gus, but far less severe. I can't even imagine having a dog like Gus. There is NO judgement from me for how you feel about him! I wouldn't be fond of him myself and honestly, would probably fear him.

Our dog probably never got this bad because we got him as a pup and he was raised with us. I took him to obedience classes. But this means there was no excuse for his behavior. He could turn aggressive for no reason and threatened to bite me a couple of times. He couldn't be trusted around house guests so spent a lot of time outside in a large kennel run. He didn't seem unhappy out there, but it wasn't ideal, obviously. He would run into it in the morning, when we left for work, but as soon as we'd shut the door, he'd hurl himself against it and bark his head off. He'd also hurl himself into moving cars, in fact, he was hit twice, the second time he caused himself a brain injury by smashing into a moving car head first, and died a few hours later despite our efforts to save him. Like I said, he just wasn't right in the head. Didn't matter how much exercise you gave him, or how much training. Our vet offered to take him off our hands, but we decided to keep him rather than pass off the problem to someone else. He wasn't unhappy, and he slept in the house, came on long walks with us and spent time with us but didn't bond with us like other dogs. People told us to have him put down, but we just couldn't do it. Most days he was ok, just never completely trustworthy, and... just off.

It isn't normal for a dog to be on that many drugs. I don't think it's fair to him to pass him onto someone else. He probably needs to detox, but from what you are describing, he's been on these drugs for years. Who knows what they have done to him, and who knows what his personality is like underneath all the drugs. Not sure I'd want to find out unless you have a safe place to put him.

Not sleeping at night is a deal-breaker. Can he spend the night in a barn or garage? Somewhere he won't be cold, but that will let you get a good night's sleep? Nothing worse than being sleep deprived, and this is not going to help you think clearly about him.

Whatever you decide, you have done absolutely everything you could for this dog - far more than most people. You should not feel any guilt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I'd like more info if thats ok?

1. how long after getting the dog was the first incident? Not sure which incident this question is referencing. The fear, the trembling, the excessive barking have always been there
2. how long after getting doggy did you start medicating and at what dosage? He came to us already on Prozac. The rescue had worked with a behaviorist vet for at least a few months prior to us "adopting" him and that was what they decided on. I think that might have been in response to him biting the husband of his first foster home. He was then moved to a new foster.
3. when and how much was dosage altered/increased? I looked back and realized he was on 20mg until 2018. In 2018, they upped his dose to 30mg.
4. is the dog neutered? Yes
5. has his sight been recently checked? In a standard "annual physical" the vet looked at them but didn't do anything more.
6. has he been tested for diabetes? Nope
7. has he ever been tested for UTI's? Nope
8. In depth if possible how would you rate his behaviours before medicating - on medication - after dosage changes Unfortunately I've never known him unmedicated. I know he hasn't bitten anyone since being medicated, though the threat is there
9. What is his day-to-day routine (feeding, specific toilet times or when he asks, specific exercise times or when he asks etc.)

Up between 5-6am; walk 1-1.5 miles; fed, with Prozac; returns to bed
Out for bathroom break around noon
Fed around 4pm; walk 1 mile
Out for bathroom break around 7:30pm
Out for bathroom break around 8:30pm

10. how much fluid you think he drinks in a day? Hmmm...good question but I'm not sure. He and the cat share a large free access bowl

11. When you say you walk on eggshells please elaborate with examples both with yourselves and when with visitors
Visitors: He has an extreme reaction to anyone coming in the house. This is not limited to "strangers," he reacts this way to every person who enters the house, even us, even people who come routinely. Even when people bring treats. By "extreme," what I mean is that he hears a car in the driveway or the door open, and he charges like a freight train from our bedroom (where he usually sleeps) the length of the house to the door, barking aggressively, hackles raised. He assumes an aggressive, stiff stance and barks in the direction of the person. However, his tail will usually be tucked despite the other aggressive signs. We've tried treats, we've tried ignoring him, we've tried meeting outside. It generally takes him 10-15 minutes to stop this level of barking. When he realizes it's a person he knows, he usually wants to be pet, sniff, lick. Especially if they have a treat.


What I mean though, as far as my husband and I walking on eggshells, is really just that we are always extremely quiet and slow moving so we don't startle him. At night, I try not to roll over so I don't wake him up and make him start pacing and trembling. I try not to get up to go to the bathroom because if I do, he will be up and pacing. If we move something in the environment, he encounters it and barks uncontrollably like when a new person comes over. If snow slides off the roof, he barks and trembles and whimpers. So we try to keep everything exactly.the.same all the time, if we can. The problem is we live in an old house and are doing a lot of renovations, so that is hard.


Shame we live so far away or I'd offer to help.
Gosh I wish that was an option!
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
1. I’d like to see a picture of Gus, since I drove 260 miles to the West Memphis Animal Shelter to get a dog five years ago, when he was a year old.


Cute face, right??






2. Has anyone ever checked Gus for brain injury or brain tumors? That’s a possibility.
No, I had no idea that people checked dogs for brain injury. Not sure what that entails.


3. His even more odd behavior since your senior dog passed is his manner of mourning her loss. Believe it or not, he was attached to her in his own way. I have lost a few dogs to where the one left behind stopped eating, drinking and would not take care of business for several days unless I walked them outside on a leash.Yes, I think that makes sense. I've also considered that he feels more threatened/vulnerable as an only dog. She was a strong personality and he was definitely submissive to her.
4. I hate to say this but having been tossed around from foster to foster (like often happens to children), he is probably a very sensitive dog who has lost complete trust in mankind and has shut down.

Add to the mix that you admittedly don’t like him — don’t think he does t sense that and reacts accordingly.
I know, I feel very guilty about this. I had a long talk with my husband about my attitude toward the dog and how that manifests. The thing is, my husband is the kindest, gentlest soul, and he has made a real effort to make friends. Long walks together, figuring out his favorite scratchy place, getting down on the floor and letting the dog snuggle up with him. And Gus still acts like he wants to kill my husband when he walks in the door from work almost every afternoon. I think he just doesn't know how to connect to people.


Is there any chance of rehoming him with someone fair minded, who would be his friend when he wanted a friend and be willing to leave him a,one when he wanted left alone. He’s a handful by now and it would take a really special person that Gus would probably have to pick, albeit grudgingly.
I just really don't feel this is a fair thing to do to another person. We have gone back and forth about whether or not we'd ask one particular friend, who does seem to have a nice relationship with Gus (after his initial outburst) but I just don't know if I want someone else to have to take this on.


The other option is to find another vet and have him PTS’d. I can believe the vet made the comment she made to your husband.

That vet wasn’t right, but you should have been here the day I told the farm vet I want my 25 & 26 year old horses PTS’d if I get to the point I can no longer care for them. One is IR and I have Baku $$$$ in him to give him a quality life. The other one is so onery, only about 10% of the horse people population would know how to fairly manage him. Some misguided fool would end up sending them slaughter auction for a few lousy dollars.

If you can’t rehome Gus, and you can’t resolve yourself to try and mend a relationship that never really got off the ground, I guess I would PTS him and at least bring him home for a decent burial; he at least would deserve that much:):)

Not sure how much help I’ve been :)
You have, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
A few people have reacted to the vet, so just want to say, thanks, yes, we will not be seeing her again for any vet needs.

A few people also mentioned rescue dogs. I sincerely feel like the approach to rescue has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. When I had just graduated from college, I adopted a cat from a local rescue, and my roommate adopted a puppy from the same rescue. They were offered to the public at a PetSmart adoption day- you went in, got to meet the animals, provided some basic information, and went home with the animal. Easy. I still have that cat (he's 19 years old now) and my roommate had the dog until he died at 14 years old.


I've since adopted 3 dogs from rescues, and it's gotten progressively harder each time. The first, Carter, had the same basic story as Gus- around 1-2 years old, timid around people, not very interactive, had been adopted once and then returned because he wasn't a good family dog. It took a long time to gain his trust, and he was a grumpy old man in his last years, but we loved him and he had a happy life. He was also called a "lab mix" but was probably a pit mix, like Gus is. I don't mind pits, have known lots of nice ones. I don't think they are inherently bad dogs. So I don't attribute Gus's problems to his likely breed.

This is Carter



The 2nd rescue we got, there was a little more "background checking" and the foster "mom" seemed to have a lot of veto power about whether or not she liked us enough to hand over the dog. Fortunately, it worked out because Delia may very well have been the dog of a lifetime. Over the top friendly, loyal, loving. She was not microchipped when we got her, and I'm positive she had been a loved family dog who escaped a door or fence and couldn't be reunited with them so ended up at a rescue. Her only downfall her whole life was that she was a "bolter," so we had to be always vigilant with doors and gates. She got out a couple of times when friends were over and it was heartbreaking, but fortunately she always went right up to a stranger when she was out, and they called us to reunite us. She had a stroke one morning last May; by lunchtime that day, she was gone :sad:




This whole experience of adopting Gus was like adopting a child. The interviews, the home visits, the background checks. But mostly, I think the fact that the rescue kept him for nearly a year after attacking people, spent gobs of money on vets at Tufts, medicated him, all that. And then still adopted him out. I don't know why he wasn't humanely euthanized when he bit. Theoretically their fosters have had even more screening than we did as adopters, and are supposed to be actively working on training the dog (that's what the rescue says). It is a hard lesson to learn, but I can't see myself adopting from a rescue again, given the current mindset that all dogs, even troubled, unhappy ones, are "saved" and adopted out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
@LoriF , thank you for that interesting article about side effects of Prozac. The trembling, the itching, that does fit. No one has ever talked to us about possible side effects. It is stressful to think about taking him off of it, but if we could find someone to work with us to do that, I wonder what would happen. We have also thought about the Benadryl at night.


@Aprilswissmiss and @4horses both asked about fences. I don't think electric would be a good option for us, because we have aggressive coyotes who roam in packs. And, I think he probably is the type that might just blow through it.

In our previous house, we had a fenced side yard. He would sometimes go out there to lay in the sun during the nice months, but was still explosive to cars going by, people walking, our neighbors kids playing, etc. He and our other dog would occassionally play out there, but it was mostly used for napping. In our current house, we live on over 200 acres and have no neighbors closer than 3/4 mile in any direction, so it seems a little silly to fence in a small side yard. We, incorrectly, thought that we could do some boundary training and he could be out with us when we're out. We spend a lot of time outside. But he's not trustworthy around my chickens or horses, even when supervised. Clearly his recall is not solid given the car chasing incidents. I was there when that happened, calling him back. He just ignored me. So, no, I don't think he can be off leash outside. And, he hates the snow and ice and during the winter months, he would never be outside voluntarily. Before the car incident, if we put him outside on his own, he'd just scratch at the door and whine to come back in.


@Acadianartist , while I'm not happy you also had a dog who lunged at cars, it is at least a little comforting to know someone else experienced something similar.

I took a little video of him yesterday that shows the trembling, seemingly with no triggers. I had been sitting in this spot for an hour on a conference call. This video was about 30 minutes after I got off the call. For that entire 90 minutes, he paced around like this- under the table, shake, out from under the table, circle, lay down, get up, under the table, on and on. The house was totally still and quiet. I was the only one there. The cat was sleeping in the bedroom. It must just be exhausting to be constantly this worried. When I mention him going under the bed at night and shaking, this is what it is, just using the bed vs. table to hide.

Also, thank you to everyone who addressed the possible option of euthanasia. It is not something we've considered lightly and we hoped to have a rational, informed conversation with the vet about it and I know my husband did not bring it up demanding an easy "out" from an inconvenient situation. It was merely a question of when that should be considered. We definitely didn't expect to get the diatribe that came. My horse vet is out on Sunday to do a round of spring shots, so I am going to talk to her about the situation. She's never met him, but she's a pretty pragmatic person. I'll be curious to hear what she thinks. We don't own a firearm so doing it ourselves is not an option.

I hope I haven't missed anyone who asked a question. I have read and thought about all the responses, and thank you again for them.
 

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You have an ideal home for a dog. You are an experienced animal and dog person, and have done everything you can to help this dog.

Sometimes that isn't enough. We had a dog when I was an older teen and he was also in an ideal home. He had tons of exercise, socialization, other friendly dogs to be around, went through a full course of obedience training and competed successfully.

He was also a shelter dog, and a mix that was probably cocker spaniel, golden retriever and maybe something else. We had a very difficult time because he would just flip sometimes with no warning and attack people. I did not want to give up on him, and put him through extensive training. However, while the training made him a wonderfully behaved dog 99% of the time, you could not startle him.

One day I startled him and he grabbed my hand and started trying to bite through it, chomping, snarling and with glazed over eyes (I have scars). Even after that, we visited some vets to see if they would remove his teeth so we could feed him a soft diet but he would be more harmless if he attached randomly. None of the vets in our area would agree, and we ended up putting him down.

A few years later I read about that Rage Syndrome another person linked to, which is particularly associated with Cockers but also can be seen in other breeds.

All of this to say, I believe this is a structural or chemical problem with the brain. I don't believe it is solvable, and in the meantime you have a miserable dog. Even if you are very altruistic and idealistic and would keep a dog that is difficult for you, there is the fact that the dog himself is unhappy and not having a good quality of life. Death is not a bad thing if it removes misery.

With our dog, we were hung up on his age, since we expected dogs to live longer. However, he had some good years with us outside of the shelter and not every animal lives past middle age even without this kind of problem.

You will feel bad if you put the dog down, but I think afterward you will understand this was a kind thing to do. Having him go to another person will not change the basic suffering of the dog.
 

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Has he been tested for Lyme Disease?

You probably have him vaccinated now but if he was infected prior to you getting him then the damage is already done.

Lyme Disease is caused by the same bacterium that causes syphilis, it can cause brain damage.

I have a Chinese Crested Powderpuff that has similar behavioral problems and can't maintain weight caused by Lyme Disease that wasn't recognized until it was too late and the damage done.

Our UK vets just put it down to him being a 'highly strung' type.

He's much better when he's with another dog that he gets on with.
 

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You do not sound happy, and your poor dog sounds miserable. You have done so much more for this dog that most people. My cut-off for behavioral euthanasia is "Is this a happy dog?" and "Can I make him a happy dog?" If the answer is no, I would tearfully put the dog down. He can't be passed off to someone else. You have gone over and above what most people would do. This dog has the life of Riley and he still sounds miserable. I have anxiety. I know how living with constant anxiety feels... it's no fun. Your dog is living with this daily. High doses of meds are barely holding him together.

If you truly want to give him 'one last chance' I'd wean him off the Prozac and have an evaluation done on him then. The evaluation can't be truly helpful on a drugged dog. See how he is. If you want to try another med, then maybe, but honestly I don't think meds are the answer for this dog. They can help, but they won't make him well again. They just make him slightly more tolerable to live with.

I would love up on him, give him one 'last best day' and put him down. There are so many wonderful dogs out there that you could truly enjoy and who would live a fabulous life with you. This is not that dog. And there are worse things than a gentle death.

I feel for you. I have a lot of experience with difficult and problem dogs. Not all of them can be saved, unfortunately.
 

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What ever happens, I wish you peace.

About the rescues. I have noticed the common use of lab mix. I get it both from the they are trying to find homes, and the odds stand point. They have been the #1 dog for a good number of years running. Sort a kin to calling a horse some sort of quarter cross.

And it does seem more difficult. I commented before the type looking to do harm or shady aren't going to go through all of that. I wanted to adopt this last time. Remington is really the first dog that took a search. Before it had always like been a relative boss had some, knew someone. The one 2 back my folks got from a girl I actually went to a prom with. She is married now and they had some puppies. That type thing. I went to events a pet stores, searched online,etc. I think while breed specific groups have some good points. They add to the difficulty.

Remington does have papers. Have not filed them and don't actually know where they are. Not important to me. He will never sire any liters. None of them have. The only way I would even consider if my vet approached it, because I trust her so much.

Didn't mean to go so far off topic. As mentioned you have gone way above and beyond. Frankly not a surprise at all having known you these years.
 

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Gus wasn’t one Sheldon’s playmates at the shelter - at least of those that I saw.


@egrogan a vet would probably have to do a brain scan to check for tumors.

Something else I thought of after I posted:

When I was a kid, one of my grandfather’s mare gave birth to the most beautiful blue-black colt you would want to lay eyes on. He was supposed to take the place of his sire when granddad retired Pepper.

The short version of the birth is that granddad was checking on the mare and discovered the colt trapped in birth sac.

The colt ended up being unpredictable and his unpredictable moments were violent. From a personality stand point, he didn’t come close to being the gentle soul his sire and dam were.

The last straw was the day he reared straight up with me, ready to go over backward. I bailed.

Not wanting this type of personality fluke for a stallion, the colt was gelded by now but remained psychotic.

After I bailed, he turned around and ran over me with malicious intent. Grandad put him down.

My point is that grandad felt he had to have been trapped in the birth sac just long enough to lose enough oxygen to make him mentally unstable.

I have often wondered how frequent that may happen with other creatures, especially dogs and cats.

*****
If the person Gus seems to like, knows Gus’ full story and is willing to give him a chance, I would do it, with the understanding if it doesn’t work out,, then Gus should be put to rest and finally be at peace:)

Hugs and best wishes, whatever your decision:)
 

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IMO, society has a huge problem with projecting their own fear of dying, of loneliness or abandonment, etc. etc. ... on animals.

I think most who have suggested lowering meds, changing meds, testing for tumours, building fences, yada, yada yada, are grasping at straws because they have problems with the subject of dying. They aren't living the unhappy life this poor dog is, so they want to see him kept alive at all costs, because it somehow makes them feel better about themselves. But what is best for the dog???
Not what makes the owner feel good,or the vet, or the big virtual audience that has read his story....what will make the dog feel better?
His mental state is in pain...

Dogs are the happiest creatures on earth. Most exude pure joy. A leaf, a stick, the sun, the rain; all the dogs I have known, go wild with happiness at doing anything. Or nothing, if they can do it with company. This dog hit the best owner jackpot, and is not enjoying his life...let him go, his continued suffering is for humans benefit, not his.
 

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Gus wasn’t one Sheldon’s playmates at the shelter - at least of those that I saw.


@egrogan a vet would probably have to do a brain scan to check for tumors.

Something else I thought of after I posted:

When I was a kid, one of my grandfather’s mare gave birth to the most beautiful blue-black colt you would want to lay eyes on. He was supposed to take the place of his sire when granddad retired Pepper.

The short version of the birth is that granddad was checking on the mare and discovered the colt trapped in birth sac.

The colt ended up being unpredictable and his unpredictable moments were violent. From a personality stand point, he didn’t come close to being the gentle soul his sire and dam were.

The last straw was the day he reared straight up with me, ready to go over backward. I bailed.

Not wanting this type of personality fluke for a stallion, the colt was gelded by now but remained psychotic.

After I bailed, he turned around and ran over me with malicious intent. Grandad put him down.

My point is that grandad felt he had to have been trapped in the birth sac just long enough to lose enough oxygen to make him mentally unstable.

I have often wondered how frequent that may happen with other creatures, especially dogs and cats.

*****
If the person Gus seems to like, knows Gus’ full story and is willing to give him a chance, I would do it, with the understanding if it doesn’t work out,, then Gus should be put to rest and finally be at peace:)

Hugs and best wishes, whatever your decision:)
I have a friend whose ***** had a very difficult whelping, all the pups but one died. He had some loose screws. She trained and competed him to a high level but he was utterly unpredictable and bit family members over and over. Her husband is a ER doctor so he would just stitch himself and his children up ... eventually my friend, who loved the dog (he never bit her), did get him euthanized. She always felt that his problems were due to that lack of oxygen at birth.
 

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One of the issues with rescues, shelters, street dogs, and any dog not raised by knowledgeable, responsible breeders is that the first 12 weeks of a puppy's life are CRUCIAL for setting the personality of that puppy. After that, the window closes and you can't get that time back. Good breeding can only go so far; if the dog is deprived of socialization, certain experiences, or mistreated, scared, or hurt during those crucial weeks, there is often nothing you can do later in life to fix it -- you can sometimes improve it, but the dog's default behavior will be fear or anxiety or aggression rather than interest or acceptance. Dogs of questionable breeding and temperament who get those crucial experiences sometimes still turn out ok in the right home. Dogs of questionable breeding and temperament who also experienced pain, fear, mistreatment, or simply didn't get the handling and experiences needed during those all-important few weeks are behind the 8 ball for life and tend to be the ones that just aren't functional. It's not your fault. It's the fault of whoever bred him, mishandled him, etc.

I took in a lab/border collie puppy after we saw two of them tossed from a moving truck in a parking lot. An acquaintance took the other. They were around 6-7 weeks old when we got them. the puppy was overly shy, thin, and obviously frightened of people. He was so terrified at the vet clinic when I had him checked over and got him his shots that he was nearly catatonic. I had another calm, stable dog in my home and the puppy took to her right away and her bombproof personality went a long way toward instilling confidence in him. I also took him everywhere I could to get him around people, other dogs, and to get good experiences flooding his little brain rather than his default behavior that being approached by people meant he should run away or he'd be hurt. We spent a lot of time sitting under a tree in the park and I'd start handing him chicken or cubes of cheese every time another person came into view until he started thinking that other people and dogs might actually be ok. Then we went to the farm stores, banks, anywhere that wasn't overwhelming where he could learn that new experiences were ok. He turned out to be a nice little dog, but anxious around new situations his whole life. I had hoped to use him as a competitive frisbee dog because he was OBSESSED with frisbees, but there's no way he could have tolerated a performance event atmosphere. He also had meltdowns when confronted with livestock/sheep so that career was also off the table. I ended up giving him to my parents as their calm, quiet home was a much better fit for him than mine with other foster dogs coming in and out, two other dogs with show/performance careers, etc. I met the other puppy a year later, and whoa, what a difference. His owner had a health crisis come up soon after she took him in, and he ended up living in a stall in her horse barn until he was about 5 months old. He got much the same experiences as my pup after that, but it was too late. That dog was a nutcase. He was terrified of everything, would destroy the house when left alone, would panic in a crate until he hurt himself or got out of it, his reaction to other dogs and new people was to turn and run, and if he couldn't do that, to attack first before they got to him. She ended up euthanizing him a couple of years later when he refused to tolerate her infant son no matter what she tried.

The difference between dogs like this, and dogs from solid, stable parents bred by responsible breeders who take the time to do the work on the babies and teach them to learn and love people and accept new things with aplomb is astronomical, and even then you can sometimes get one that 'isn't quite right'. Rolling the dice on a dog that didn't get that crucial early experience and well-thought-out breeding sometimes results in disaster and heartbreak; and it's very common these days in the 'adopt don't shop' mindset where people end up with dogs with questionable history/breedings, and then ending up anguished and guilty and feeling at fault when things don't work out and their dog has anxiety, is aggressive around other dogs, is sharp-shy, can't be housebroken, has severe separation anxiety, etc. I see so many people blaming themselves-- they think they didn't know enough, didn't do enough, did something wrong, caused their dog to act this way, etc. when in reality the dog is damaged mentally from the start, and sometimes there ISN'T anything you can do to fix him. It's heartbreaking, but it's not uncommon. Some behaviorists, trainers, and even vets will tell you they can be fixed... but there are times when the damage is just too deep. Can the dog live? Probably. But is it going to be a good life and a happy dog? Probably not. A friend of mine has a rescued Shepherd mix that alternates between sweetness and extreme aggression. She's tried medications, exercise, behaviorists, trainers, paid thousands for an MRI to rule out brain tumors, etc. Nothing helped. The dog is drugged to the teeth and confined to one room of their home. They can't have friends over. They can't kennel the dog and go away for the weekend as the dog is dangerous around strangers. The dog spends her days spinning in circles and barking. She's four years old. Is that a fair life for her or her owners? No. It's not. But so far they feel like they've failed the dog if they put her down, and her vet said 'the dog is healthy' so they haven't been able to do it. One day they may come across the 'final straw' and do what needs to be done, but until then, they and the dog are miserable, and it's so sad to see. They would be a wonderful home for a dog; but this dog is not a sane, healthy dog and they can't enjoy her, nor is she happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
@jaydee , yes, he tested negative for Lyme when he arrived at the rescue. He has been vaccinated since. (Actually, they insisted on giving him the annual vaccine during yesterday's vet visit because he was due for it, and after the conversation my husband had had with that vet he didn't feel he could refuse the vaccine :eek:)

He was heartworm positive when he arrived at the rescue. They treated him successfully for that. We have kept up with heartworm monthly preventative treatment in the time we've had him. He just had his teeth cleaned a few weeks ago so they ran the typical blood panel they run to make sure the animal is healthy enough for sedation, and he was fine in that bloodwork.

I appreciate hearing the perspectives from people who say "enough- let him go" as well as the perspectives offering options to make him more comfortable if possible. I think it's a really personal decision with any animal, but I don't feel attacked in a "save the dog at all costs" sort of way. I will be interested to hear what my horse vet thinks. I guess if I'm honest, I am a little worried about getting "blacklisted" by the local vet community if they all feel like the shelter vet did, and then we get a reputation for shopping around for a vet to "kill a healthy dog." The vet yesterday kept telling my husband she sees behavior like this all the time, it's really not unusual or a big deal- in fact, she lectured him at length about three specific dogs currently at her shelter who act just like Gus, and live in the office with the staff since they hadn't been able to be adopted "just yet." So I do feel that I need to be a little careful about how I approach the conversation with vets I don't know. But like I said, I trust my horse vet to have a rational conversation and see what she suggests.
 

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I am so sorry you are going through this. It sounds like Gus couldn't have had a better home with you guys. Definitely looks like something is wrong with him, but unsure of what. In the video, it does show that he trusts you & you are his calm. Poor buddy. :sad: It sounds like you have done everything for him, I also wouldn't ever take him back to that other vet. It doesn't sound like they really heard you out, they just tried to say 'oh, a lot of dogs act like this'. :icon_rolleyes:

I agree with not passing him onto someone else either. He is safest with you. I think putting him down would be best as well. Definitely not an easy decision (it never is), but it may be what is best for him. I would let him go peacefully, talking to your equine vet may give you comfort too, I think that's a good idea. :hug: Hugs to you and Gus.
 
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